I Love Chamaecyparis Obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’  aka Dwarf Hinoki Falsecypress

Dec 3, 2021 | Gardens

Name:   Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’  aka dwarf Hinoki falsecypress

Type of Plant:  A slow growing evergreen, hardy in Zone 4 to 8, with dark green fans of foliage.

Why I Love This Plant: There are SO many things to love about this plant. First of all, the handsome, dark foliage. Secondly, the slow growth rate – this is a plant that won’t get too tall too quickly. I have had a plant in the ground for 13 years that was about 18 inches tall when I planted it and and it’s only three feet tall now. Next, contrary to what I’ve seen written in other sources, I’ve found Hinokis to be very wind tolerant. I’ve seen them do well in exposed locations, even right on the ocean. The Nana Hinoki will grow in full sun or part shade.

A Word to the Wise: These evergreens like good drainage, and won’t thrive in heavy, wet soils.  Also, this is not a plant for those who like to shear evergreens into round balls or cubes. The beauty of this shrub comes from the fan-shaped foliage and the asymmetrical growth pattern. If you don’t like free-form plants that you shouldn’t have to prune, Hinoki falsecypress isn’t for you. 

This is my Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’ when it was about eight years old. It was just a bit under three feet tall at that time.

Now thirteen years old, this plant is just over three feet tall and a bit wider. This is a no-maintenance evergreen that looks good twelve months per year.

‘Nana Gracilis’ is just one of the many varieties of dwarf Hinoki falsecypress that are available. There are dozens of others, some slower growing and smaller and others faster growing trees that get quite tall. Be sure to research the variety you purchase so that you know where to place it appropriately in your landscape.

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